Tuesday, February 04, 2020

American Dirt Book Blurbs

Do any of you guys really believe book blurbs, those little snippets of praise that authors exchange among each other in order to promote their new books? For me, it depends on the author heaping the praise and how often those particular authors do that kind of thing. It seems as if the more I respect an author's own work, the more likely I am to believe what they say about the work of someone else.

As pictured above, all of the following book blurbs have been quoted from the back of the hardcover version of American Dirt, the novel I've posted about several times already, the one that's being trashed by an out-of-control internet mob mentality created by Miriam Gurba and others like her. Jeanine Cummins has been threatened with personal violence now, but I'm wondering if any of these "big-name" authors have been criticized even a little for going on record about how much they love the book. Perhaps they are big enough to scare people like the self-righteous Gurba away. 

From Stephen King:
"A perfect balancing act with terror on one side and love on the other. I defy anyone to read the first seven pages of this book and not finish it. The prose is immaculate, and the stor never lets up. On a micro scale - the story scale, where I like to live - it's one hell of a novel about a good woman on the run with her beautiful boy. It's marvelous."

From Don Winslow:
"From its heart-stopping first sentence to its heart-shattering last, Cummins's story of immigrants is just what we need now. Gritty yet sensitive, realistic yet hopeful, grand and granular, American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins is a Grapes of Wrath for our times." 

 From John Grisham:
"I strive to write page-turners because I love to read them, and it's been a long time since I turned pages as fast as I did with American Dirt. Its plot is tight, smart, and unpredictable. Its message is important and timely, but not political. Its characters are violent, compassionate, sadistic, fragile, and heroic. It is rich in authenticity. Its journey is a testament to the power of fear and hope and belief that there are more goo people than bad."

From Ann Patchett (an author I trust to tell me the truth):
"American Dirt is both a moral compass and a riveting read. I couldn't put it down. I'll never stop thinking about it."

And from two hispanic authors who apparently aren't running around town with chips on their shoulders the way Miriam Gurba is:

Sandra Cisneros:
"This book is not simply the great American novel; it's the great novel of las Americas. It's the great world novel! this is the international story of our times. Masterful." 

Julia Alvarez:
"Riveting, timely, a dazzling accomplishment. Jeanine Cummins makes all live and breathe the refugee story." 

I've highlighted the words I believe would most upset the sensitive Ms. Gurba, but my limited research has not turned up criticism from her or anyone else. Probably because some of these guys would bite her head off if she tried it. 


  1. I just can't believe this is all happening. A book, for God's sake! What a world we live in. Just because I've heard Grisham talking to Diane Rehm, I tend to think he is the real deal, but who knows. I'm so glad you are spending time talking about the whole situation.

    1. I find it all appalling, Nan, especially after reading Gurba's piece. I question the motives of that woman and, in my opinion, she's the real villain of the piece. And she seems to be winning.